It’s challenging to live in the US in 2020, even if you’re a naturally calm person. Elections are a key factor in the increasing level of stress. The COVID-19 pandemic also means that most US citizens have more at stake in election results. Decreased mobility and has led to more people staying at home, scrolling through social media, reading, and watching the news. It’s a recipe for high anxiety. Fortunately, there are several concrete measures you can take to de-stress during the current season and set yourself up for thriving afterward. Here are a few tips.
- Be Constructive
If you find it impossible to stop thinking about politics, perhaps it’s a good idea to participate more actively. Turn your internal stress into external action by taking part as a campaign volunteer or community office candidate yourself. Both presidential and local campaigns need volunteers to increase voter engagement. Consider taking part in a moderate political coalition to build dialogue and consensus among divergent populations.
- Be Discerning
A good political conversation can energize you, but be aware of burnout. Moderating your participation (even with people you agree with) is the most sustainable plan. Too much political debate can increase anger, irritability, and anxiety. If you have a friend or relative who insists on getting into conflict, consider adjusting your level of interaction for the time being.
- Be Measured
As coverage of elections increases, the 24-hour news cycle can be a source of stress that’s hard to avoid. Do your best to get your exposure under control. Only you know your level of emotional resilience, and only you can decide to limit and/or remove certain media sources from your life.
- Be Self-Aware
Check-in with yourself regularly to be sure you’re maintaining your physical and mental health during the election season. Keep an eye on your sleeping and eating habits, ensuring they don’t get disrupted. Seek professional help if needed.
- Be Well-Rounded
Even though the news alerts seem to be constantly coming in, it’s counterproductive to stay plugged in all the time. Get offline and participate in positive real-world activities: Sports, crafts, cooking, safe social events, and playing with a pet are all life-giving things to do in your free time.
The political climate is intense, and it’s vital to take good care of yourself. Try these tips to take control of your life and mood.